BISMARCK, N.D. (NDDA) - Due to spring storms in the Midwest this year, farmers who typically would have been in the field earlier had to wait for the snow to melt. Now farmers from multiple states are trying to get into the field at the same time, causing a fertilizer shortage.
"North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin utilize some of the same resources for fertilizer," Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. "Everyone is trying to use the same trucks, facilities and manufacturers and it is creating a supply issue."
Goehring said he has spoken with fertilizer plant managers who have said they have never experienced a shortage to this degree before. "They sympathize with their customers and feel the same level of anxiety and frustration. They are trying to find a way to supply the demand," Goehring said. "Please be patient and understanding. They have indicated they would like to sell it if they had it."
"Producers may want to consider some different options such as top dressing later or switching crops and coming back as supply returns," Goehring said. "We believe that this is a short-term problem and will begin to correct itself within the next two weeks."
Goehring has been working on this issue over the last week and is discussing options with Governor Burgum.
FARGO, N.D. - The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is reminding North Dakota farmers and ranchers that the window is closing on the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Census of Agriculture.
To date, NASS has received more than 1.5 million completed questionnaires, but both the national and North Dakota return rates are currently lower than at this point in the 2012 Census process. NASS is encouraging North Dakota producers who have not returned their completed Census questionnaires to do so as soon as possible to avoid phone and in-person follow-up.
"NASS is grateful for the response from producers to date, but it is important that the others who received a Census questionnaire join their neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family in being part of the Census count," said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer.
"We sent the questionnaire to many potential farmers and ranchers who may not be familiar with it. The follow-up will give them and other producers the opportunity to ask questions," said Hamer. "Some farmers and ranchers were waiting until they gathered their tax documents before completing the Census;
having that information handy will certainly make filling out the questionnaire faster and easier."
The Census differs from other NASS surveys. It provides important demographic information and data on certain commodities, such as horses, bison, and Christmas trees; that would not otherwise be available.
Changes to the questionnaire in 2017 include new questions about military veteran status, decision-making on the farm, and food marketing practices.
"North Dakota producers need to complete and return their Census of Agriculture so policymakers will have accurate data to enact legislation when appropriating government dollars to agriculture" said Darin Jantzi, North Dakota State Statistician. "Many counties and towns use results from the Census of Agriculture when making decisions about local programs and infrastructure. Completing the Ag Census may be your only way of being heard."
NASS will release Census results in February 2019. For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture or for assistance with the questionnaire, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call toll-free (888) 424-7828.
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